Essential Guide

The history of cloud computing and what's coming next: A CIO guide

A comprehensive collection of articles, videos and more, hand-picked by our editors

IBM gets real about being a cloud provider

In this week's Searchlight: IBM puts billions into being a public cloud provider, science thumbs its nose at Verizon, keeping cloud honest and more.

Whether you're a current IBM customer or never plan to be one, this week's news that the tech giant purchased SoftLayer Technologies Inc. is big news for CIOs.

Karen GoulartKaren Goulart

Call it a $2 billion reality check. That's the alleged sum IBM will dole out for cloud computing company SoftLayer, and it's a big indicator that IBM plans to be a major player à la Amazon in the public cloud provider game. It's about time, and it's this week's lead Searchlight item.

IBM, of course, has been offering cloud services for years. It has acquired a variety of other companies that are cloud-related. But its primary offering, SmartCloud Enterprise+ is most popular with the types of businesses it already counts as customers -- Fortune500 companies interested in building private clouds.

SoftLayer is a hybrid cloud service aimed at Web-focused small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). But, Forrester analyst James Staten notes in Forbes, it is atypical as hosting companies go, purposely blending hosting and cloud. SoftLayer's flexibility -- for example, customers can set up private clouds on public infrastructure (no sharing of a virtual space) -- is an enticing proposition for both SMBs that can't afford a lot of equipment and cloud-shy enterprises with security concerns.

Check out SearchCIO's own coverage of these topics

Four major cloud providers answer burning cloud questions

Can you have big data and still have personal data privacy?

Big data calls for tough fraud prevention controls

For all cloud holdouts, the deal is a wake-up call. If there were still a need to prove that everything is moving toward a cloud-based future (and somehow, for some IT leaders, there is) this deal oughta do it. Consider it a Big Blue flashing signal of what's ahead.

As Gartner analyst Yefim Natis stressed in a recent conversation, the shift to hybrid computing is under way and the big application infrastructure vendors -- like IBM -- are going to start making major strategic moves. In no time at all, computing on premises and computing in the cloud will both be common in just about any business, big or small. Ready or not, CIOs, that's reality.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Karen Goulart, features writer.

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Essential Guide

The history of cloud computing and what's coming next: A CIO guide
Related Discussions

Karen Goulart, Senior Features Writer asks:

Will IBM's purchase of SoftLayer generate more interest in the company as a public cloud provider? (Please elaborate in the comments.)

0  Responses So Far

Join the Discussion

2 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

SearchCompliance

SearchHealthIT

SearchCloudComputing

SearchMobileComputing

SearchDataCenter

Close